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Learning visit FAQ's

Before your visit

How much does the visit cost?

All our learning sessions are free but we do actively encourage donations to help it remain that way.

What happens if we are late or need to cancel?

Please contact the museum reception on 020 3228 4227.

What are the maximum numbers for a self-guided or facilitated visit?

Monday – Tuesday: 50
Wednesday – Friday: 30

You do not need to book for a group less than 10 – please refer to our opening hours.

Can we bring less than 10 for a facilitated visit?

Our facilitated visits require 10 or more as there are parts that involve discussion and group

Can we have a group visit on a Saturday?

Unfortunately, we cannot accommodate facilitated sessions on Saturdays. We might occasionally be able to take some small group bookings (up to 10) for a self-guided visit. However, this will be subject to staff availability.

How many teachers do you require per number of students?

We do not have a strict ratio for students/teachers, but we recommend the following minimum: 

Ages 11 - 16: 1:10/15

Ages 16 - 18: 1:30 

Ages 18+: 1 responsible adult per group

Can we have a risk assessment?

Yes – please let us know if you need a copy of our risk assessment during the booking process. We also encourage educators to arrange a pre-visit where possible to conduct their own risk assessment. Please use our contact us form or phone 020 3228 4227 if this is something you would be interested in.

Can we have your PL certificate?

Yes – please let us know if you need a copy of the certificate when booking your visit, and we will e-mail it to you.

Where can I find information about accessibility in the museum?

You can view a list of our accessibility facilities here.

How long does a visit last?

A facilitated visit usually takes 3 hours and includes a break for lunch. 

A self-guided visit starts with a 10–15 minute introduction, after which your group will have free time to explore the museum spaces. We recommend allowing for 45 to 90 minutes. 

Can we extend our visit and make it longer than 3 hours as we are travelling a long way?

We occasionally have capacity to extend facilitated visits, though it depends on staff availability and other bookings. Please indicate in your initial booking form if this is something that you are interested in. 

Are there any Museums nearby that we can visit after?

We understand that you may be travelling some distance for your visit and may wish to visit other nearby museums. Please get in touch with them separately, using the links below:

Down House, home of Charles Darwin – 20 minute drive 

Horniman Museum and Gardens, award-winning anthropology and natural history museum – 22 minute drive

Science Museum – 1 hour drive 

Wellcome Collection, museum looking at the connections between Science, Medicine, Life and Art – 1 hour 5 minute drive 

National Justice Museum: Education at the Royal Courts of Justice – 1 hour drive

Freud Museum, home of Sigmund and Anna Freud – 1 hour 20 minute drive

Do you provide any activities for self-guided visits?

We have a “conversation starter” activity sheet which is to be used in pairs, available to all self-guided groups. You are also welcome to create and bring your own activity if required. 

During your visit

Should we bring lunch?

It would be preferable to bring a packed lunch as, although you are welcome to use the hospital canteen, food options and seating can be limited. Your group will be welcome to use the learning room and outdoors spaces to eat lunch. If you do wish to use the canteen it would be helpful to know in advance. If you are visiting with a larger group (over 20), your group will be split in to two to help with overcrowding. There is also a KFC and McDonalds off site, both within a 10-minute walk, although your group may not have time to get there and back during a facilitated session. You can also buy tea and coffee in the hospital canteen.

Is there parking?

There is limited parking for cars around the hospital site, all parking here is free. There is also unrestricted street parking.

Where can the coach park?

Whilst you are welcome to drop off your group outside the museum, there is no coach parking on site as we are a working hospital. Coaches are welcome to find space on Monks Orchard Road, where there is unrestricted parking and the road is wide.

Where's the nearest station?

Eden Park (30 mins from London Bridge), followed by a 15 min walk or 356 bus (towards Shirley - The Bethlem Royal Hospital stop).

East Croydon (15 mins from London Victoria), followed by 119 bus (towards Bromley - Shirley Baptist Church stop) or 198 (towards Shrublands - Monks Orchard Road stop).

Can we leave our bags/suitcases somewhere?

We have lockers big enough for hand luggage. Unfortunately, there is not suitable space for suitcases or larger luggage.

Is there a gift shop?

There is a small gift shop, all profits help keep us free to all and support the museum’s work.

Is photography permitted on site?

Photography without flash is permitted within the museum. However, the museum is on a hospital site and as such photography is not permitted on the surrounding grounds.